International Business
By Charles W.L. Hill
Copyright © 2013 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Chapter 16
Exporting, Importing,
and Countertrade
Why Export?
Exporting is a way to increase market size
and profits
lower trade barriers under the WTO and
regional economic agreements such as the
EU and NAFTA make it easier than ever
Large firms often proactively seek new
export opportunities, but many smaller
firms export reactively
often intimidated by the complexities of
Why Export?
Exporting firms need to
identify market opportunities
deal with foreign exchange risk
navigate import and export financing
understand the challenges of doing business
in a foreign market
What Are The
Pitfalls Of Exporting?
 Common pitfalls include
 poor market analysis
 poor understanding of competitive conditions
 a lack of customization for local markets
 a poor distribution program
 poorly executed promotional campaigns
 problems securing financing
 a general underestimation of the differences and
expertise required for foreign market penetration
 an underestimation of the amount of paperwork and
formalities involved
How Can Firms Improve
Export Performance?
 Many firms are unaware of export opportunities
 Firms need to collect information
 Firms can get direct assistance from some
countries and/or use an export management
 both Germany and Japan have developed extensive
institutional structures for promoting exports
 Japanese exporters can use knowledge and contacts
of sogo shosha - great trading houses
 U.S. firms have far fewer resources available
Where Can U.S. Firms Get
Export Information?
 The U.S. Department of Commerce
 the most comprehensive source of export information
for U.S. firms
 The International Trade Administration and the
United States and Foreign Commercial Service
 “best prospects” lists for firms
 The Department of Commerce
 organizes various trade events to help firms make
foreign contacts and explore export opportunities
 The Small Business Administration
 Local and state governments
What Are Export
Management Companies?
 Export management companies (EMCs) are
export specialists that act as the export
marketing department or international
department for client firms
 Two types of assignments are common:
1. EMCs start export operations with the
understanding that the firm will take over after
they are established
 not all EMCs are equal—some do a better job than
What Are Export
Management Companies?
2. EMCs start services with the
understanding that the EMC will have
continuing responsibility for selling the
firm’s products
 but, firms that use EMCs may not develop
their own export capabilities
How Can Firms Reduce
The Risks Of Exporting?
 To reduce the risks of exporting, firms should
 hire an EMC or export consultant to identify
opportunities and navigate paperwork and regulations
 focus on one, or a few markets at first
 enter a foreign market on a small scale in order to
reduce the costs of any subsequent failures
 recognize the time and managerial commitment
 develop a good relationship with local distributors and
 hire locals to help establish a presence in the market
 be proactive
 consider local production
How Can Firms Overcome The Lack
Of Trust in Export Financing?
 Because trade implies parties from different
countries exchanging goods and payment the
issue of trust is important
 exporters prefer to receive payment prior to shipping
goods, but importers prefer to receive goods prior to
making payments
 To get around this difference of preference,
many international transactions are facilitated by
a third party - normally a reputable bank
 adds an element of trust to the relationship
How Can Firms Overcome The Lack
Of Trust in Export Financing?
The Use Of A Third Party
What Is A Letter Of Credit?
A letter of credit is issued by a bank at the
request of an importer
states the bank will pay a specified sum of
money to a beneficiary, normally the exporter,
on presentation of particular, specified
main advantage is that both parties are likely
to trust a reputable bank even if they do not
trust each other
What Is A Draft?
A draft
an order written by an exporter instructing an
importer, or an importer's agent, to pay a
specified amount of money at a specified time
the instrument normally used in
international commerce for payment
also called a bill of exchange
What Is A Draft?
A sight draft is payable on presentation to
the drawee
A time draft allows for a delay in payment
 normally 30, 60, 90, or 120 days
once a time draft has been “accepted” it
becomes a negotiable instrument that can be
sold at a discount from its face value
What Is A Bill Of Lading?
 The bill of lading is issued to the exporter by
the common carrier transporting the
 It serves three purposes
1. It is a receipt - merchandise described on document
has been received by carrier
2. It is a contract - carrier is obligated to provide
transportation service in return for a certain charge
3. It is a document of title - can be used to obtain
payment or a written promise before the
merchandise is released to the importer
How Does An International
Trade Transaction Work?
A Typical International Trade Transaction
Where Can U.S. Firms
Get Export Assistance?
1. Financing aid is available from the
Export-Import Bank (Eximbank)
 an independent agency of the U.S.
 provides financing aid to facilitate exports,
imports, and the exchange of
commodities between the U.S. and other
 achieves its goals though loan and loan
guarantee programs
Where Can U.S. Firms
Get Export Assistance?
2. Export credit insurance is available from
the Foreign Credit Insurance Association
 provides coverage against commercial risks
and political risks
 protects exporters against the risk that the
importer will default on payment
What Is Countertrade?
 Countertrade - a range of barter-like agreements
that facilitate the trade of goods and services for
other goods and services when they cannot be
traded for money
 emerged as a means purchasing imports during
the1960s when the USSR and the Communist states
of Eastern Europe had nonconvertible currencies
 grew in popularity in the 1980s among many
developing nations that lacked the foreign exchange
reserves required to purchase necessary imports
 notable increase after the 1997 Asian financial crisis
What Are The Forms
Of Countertrade?
 There are five distinct versions of
1. Barter - a direct exchange of goods
and/or services between two parties
without a cash transaction
 the most restrictive countertrade
 used primarily for one-time-only deals in
transactions with trading partners who are
not creditworthy or trustworthy
What Are The Forms
Of Countertrade?
2. Counterpurchase - a reciprocal buying
 occurs when a firm agrees to purchase a certain
amount of materials back from a country to which a
sale is made
3. Offset - similar to counterpurchase - one party
agrees to purchase goods and services with a
specified percentage of the proceeds from the
original sale
 difference is that this party can fulfill the obligation
with any firm in the country to which the sale is being
What Are The Forms
Of Countertrade?
4. A buyback occurs when a firm builds a
plant in a country or supplies technology,
equipment, training, or other services to
the country
 agrees to take a certain percentage of the
plant’s output as a partial payment for the
What Are The Forms
Of Countertrade?
5. Switch trading - the use of a specialized thirdparty trading house in a countertrade
 when a firm enters a counterpurchase or offset
agreement with a country, it often ends up with
counterpurchase credits which can be used to
purchase goods from that country
 switch trading occurs when a third-party trading
house buys the firm’s counterpurchase credits and
sells them to another firm that can better use them
What Are The
Pros Of Countertrade?
Countertrade is attractive because
it gives a firm a way to finance an export deal
when other means are not available
it give a firm a competitive edge over a firm
that is unwilling to enter a countertrade
Countertrade arrangements may be
required by the government of a country to
which a firm is exporting goods or services
What Are The
Cons Of Countertrade?
 Countertrade is unattractive because
 it may involve the exchange of unusable or poorquality goods that the firm cannot dispose of profitably
 it requires the firm to establish an in-house trading
department to handle countertrade deals
 Countertrade is most attractive to large, diverse
multinational enterprises that can use their
worldwide network of contacts to dispose of
goods acquired in countertrade deals
 sogo shosha

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